Gail Hilton Photography » Portrait & Wedding Photographer, Lancashire

Gwdy Hw – Treehouse in Powys

I came across a website recently called Canopy and Stars www.canopyandstars.co.uk. The website shows a great collection of treehouses, yurts, cabins, Gypsy caravans and other outdoor, glamping places in the UK and Europe. A particular set of tree houses caught my eye… Deep in the heart of the Welsh Mountains, in a wooded secret valley, are six chic and secluded treehouses at the ‘Living Room’, designed and built by their imaginative owners. http://www.living-room.co/ Each tree house is as unique as the trees in which they are built and although state-of-the-art structures, they blend beautifully into the landscape. Completely off-grid and built on low-impact floating joints that keep the trees from harm, I was more and more intrigued with these unique dwellings. Anyone wishing to book was promised a stay with a difference – a world away from the pressures of modern life and an experience which would embrace the simple pleasures of life; eating, sleeping and living in the heart of deep natural beauty. A place you can just lose yourself in – simple and beautiful.

I read that each treehouse has a living/dining space with kitchen and an outdoor terrace. A wood-burner sits right in the middle, spreading warmth not only to the inside, but also to the water. There is a piping hot spring water shower down below the treehouse and a clever Swedish separating compost loo on a platform across a walkway from the deck. There is no electricity, just a few lanterns and a shed load of tea lights!

Further reading mentioned that the area around the Living Room is criss-crossed with great walking trails, fast flowing streams, wobbly bridges and fantastic mountain views. With nearby beaches and a pub 20 minutes walk away (just in case you didn’t feel like cooking), it all sounded fantastic! I was hooked! I booked for August, a surprise for my 9-year-old son, Ethan and a little weekend get away for me.

I have to be honest here, as the trip got nearer, I began to feel slightly apprehensive. What if Ethan got bored as children easily do? What if he missed watching TV or using an iPad? How would I feel not being connected to the Internet 24-7, not being able to check social media and getting no phone signal? This is the world we live in now, what if I missed something?

The day of our trip arrived and I told Ethan where he was going (or rather he found a print out of the information, which kind of gave the game away!) A sat-nav doesn’t take you directly there, so Ethan helped reading out printed directions to the remote location. We were met by lovely staff on our arrival and taken to our tree house, a ten minute walk away from the car park, across the fields. After a short hike up through the woods (bring boots, and pack light!) we saw a dramatic spiral staircase, at the top of which was the main living space: a futuristic curved pod, all decked out to sleep up to four people. Very exciting!

I needn’t have worried about anything. As soon I arrived, I immediately felt at home. It’s understandable to think there won’t be enough to do, so I had planned trips in the area whilst we were there. There are loads of places to visit but to be honest, once there it was lovely to unwind and not do anything in particular. And actually, when all the technology and luxuries of life are taken away, that is when you really begin to appreciate what is around you. You start to hear the birds, you admire the view, you really taste the simply cooked food and you have real conversations. Ethan and I chatted about every subject under the sun, we toasted marshmallows on the fire, we showered in the outdoor shower (invigorating!), laughed about silly things, lay in hammocks and tried out the rope swing (I did let out a little scream when I did this as I’m not sure it’s really for adults but the child in me couldn’t help it!) We even managed an afternoon at the beach in absolutely gorgeous sunshine.

We checked out reluctantly on Sunday morning and I asked nicely if I could do a few images of Ethan around the farm where the owners were based before we headed off…

I had forgotten that simple things could feel so amazing. This really is a great place to come and unwind. Great for families with kids but equally good for a couple wanting some down time, away from it all. A truly magical experience and one, which I hope, we are able to repeat soon!

Enjoy the images…x

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